Childhood Sexually Transmitted Diseases: One Consequence of Sexual Abuse



Abstract Numerous sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of both viral and bacterial origin exist. Nursing and medical literature typically focuses on adults with STD, with vague regard for the epidemiology of STD among prepubertal children. This article focuses on childhood sexually transmitted disease as a consequence of sexual abuse. Nurses are encouraged, however, to assess both for STDs among child victims of sexual abuse and for sexual abuse among child victims of STDs. Some of the more common sexually transmitted diseases among adults, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachmatis, Treponema pallidum, genital herpes simplex Virus, human papillomavirus and HIV/AIDS are discussed as they occur in children between the ages of 1 and 12 years. Suggestions are provided for nurses regarding assessment and protocols (interviews and examinations) and interventions.